A friend of mine recently asked me who or what helped me cultivate a sense of reverence for life and for the world. I have been sitting with this question for a while and I am still not sure how to answer it. I think in part it comes from the numerous near death experiences I have had. The first one being when I was born. I think there is something about knowing how fragile life is that makes you gain a sense of reverence for it.
Maybe in part it was my parents who had this affinity for growing things. My father’s domain was the garden and plants in the backyard. He was committed to growing fresh vegetables and fruits for our family. My mothers was the front yard and side of the house where she constantly worked on her flower beds, making sure they were weed free. They had stories to go with several of the trees in our yard. The weeping willow was planted, according to my father, the day they bought me home from the adoption agency. Read More
Please forgive me for not sharing my journals with others for the last month. My quest with you has been really personal and not something I felt called to share. In some respects I feel like Atreyu in The Never Ending Story, I have been blessed with the opportunity to look in the mirror of truths and face things about myself that I would like to pretend do not exist, but they do. I have had to press through my fears and do things that required me to call on my courage. I have had to face the nothing in my life and destroy it.
Being on my own personal quest has not always been easy, albeit necessary for this time in my life. In the process, however, I have come to have a deeper reverence and respect for you as well as for myself. While I know you always see me for I am, there have been moments during this phase of my journey where I have had to be intentional about allowing you to see me in my most vulnerable. I know you see them anyway, but it feels different for me when I intentionally present myself to you in that state. Read More
So it is the last day of the year and one of those days I should be working my ass off to finish up tons of projects, but honestly all I want to do is play. So why is it that we think it is ok for kids to play, but we don’t support adults playing as much. I have been, and am still, working on remembering that play not a guilty pleasure. Play brings me joy. It helps me have healthy relationships with others. It keeps me creative. It helps me solve problems and it is fun.
Play is me looking at or making art. It is about me reading books, watching movies because I want to, not just because I have to. It is about me being stupid and laughing and dreaming and flirting with my wife. Play is what keeps me feeling as close to my wife after 15 years as I did when we first met. Play is what I do with those I love and it is a safe way for me to begin relationships with people I don’t know yet. Maybe that is why I love doing Pampered Chef parties; they give me a chance to play with others Read More
I am always amazed at how Spirit speaks to me. As I listened to an interview with Wallis Byrd, which Zoe was listening to, I found myself laughing. Once again, Spirit was giving me inspiration in a way only Spirit could do. I have so many things on my plate, many of which I am releasing and removing, especially those which no longer give me joy. I have come to this place where I have come to realize that if I am not enjoying it, if I cannot infuse joy into it, then it is not for me to continue to do. So now I play games with my cleaning, I sing songs and dance while I am doing chores around the house. I listen to Pharrell Williams’ song Happy whenever I am having trouble laughing or smiling or feeling overwhelmed by the stress.
In the interview, Byrd talked about how she worked so hard at trying to write music that she could not write. It was not until she moved and disrupted her routine that she realized that she was the architect of her life and her music. The reality we all are. I am the architect, or as don Miguel Ruiz would say, the artist of my life. I have the power to paint my life with paths of joy, peace, love, light and positive energy or not. Read More
Maybe it is the theme for this month, but I have found myself singing and/or listening to Julie Andrews sing A Few of My Favorite Things several times this month. I love this song, especially as a reminder to practice play because it is all about the things that one enjoys and loves, like “Raindrops on roses and whiskers on kittens, Bright copper kettles and warm woolen mittens, Brown paper packages tied up with strings, These are a few of my favorite things.”
So I started thinking about some of my favorite things.
Cuddling with my kittens and having them lick me.
Baking cookies with friends and sharing home made meals and creating memories Read More
Ok so I am all about practicing play this month. So I figured I would make myself laugh and share some cartoons I love and maybe a few jokes and or stories that make me laugh. Hope you can see the humor and laugh with me Read More
You have a sense of humor. Here I am in the most stressful month of my life and the spiritual practice you have led me to focus on is play. Here I am in a space when there are more things on my to do list, then there appears to be time for the things I want to do list. Final projects are coming in from my students, I am doing a record number of Pampered chef parties in a two week period for myself, editing a document for a client, planning my upcoming winter course, meeting with clients, facilitating groups, and making time for day to day activities like sleeping, eating, showering, time with Zoe and time with the cats. I would like to say I am busy, however, I am working at releasing that word from my vocabulary. Read More
So this is my last time this month to write to you about openness. So today I just want to thank you for all you have shown me and taught me about being open. You have shined a light on all the closed signs I had in my heart, mind, and soul and helped me to replace them with open signs.
I thought the possibility of my Pampered Chef team being green this month was closed, but you said watch me, I am about to do a new thing and you opened up possibilities that I could not see before.
I thought I had lost a team member who seemed like she was shutting down and you said watch and you reopened the relationship. When you did, you opened up a level of honesty in the relationship which did not exist before. You moved her from a position of living in fear and watering someone else’s yard to realizing she needed to water her own. Read More
Seriously, I always think I am far more evolved then I am and then you find a way to humble me and open me up to possibilities beyond my imagination. The most recent was this weekend, when you sent Diana over to talk to me about this Thrive for Women program. Honestly, I was not sure. I accepted her three-day sample for a few reasons. First, it was free and I had choice about what I did or did not do with it. Second, she was not pushy and never made a comment about my weight. Third, because my friend Kelly raves about this program and she doesn’t rave about many products.
I have always been very accepting of what comes my way. I had learned to find ways of staying focused, balanced and positive when my paratransit service were virtually eliminated. I have adjusted and thanked you for the decline in my health. I have always been open to seeing the blessings in all situations. In part because my Bubby had always told me if I could see the blessings in any situation, then I knew I would be okay. Read More
Yeah I am writing this one to you. Gurl, all month long you have been writing about nurturing, but seriously what have you done to nurture yourself this month. Not enough. So slow down and let’s take some time to smell the roses. Here are a list of things you love doing and have not done for a while. So even though we are moving to a new spiritual practice in October, let’s work on being open to being more nurturing of your own self so you can continue to be nurturing to others.
© Buy yourself a bunch of fresh flowers and display them where you'll see them often. Allow yourself to stop and admire them. Do not look at the price, you are worthy.
© Sit in the warm sunshine and read a good book or magazine. Read More
I would like to be able to come to you and say that I treat myself amazingly well. However, I try to be more honest with you then I am with anyone else, including myself. I am awesome at saying I am going to do something, but I break promises with myself all the time. Like tonight I said I was going to take some time to be a shlump and I did not. I did not walk as much as I should have today. I ate fairly healthy today which is a good thing, but probably mostly because I have been intentional about keeping the junk food out of the house. I did get enough sleep and I have paid myself compliments, but I am not taking as good care of my body as I need to. I am working on treating myself as well as I treat others. As Iyanla Vanzant reminded me recently, at present I am allowing others to be thieves in my life and they do not even know that I am allowing them to do that. Well maybe they will if they read this. LOL
I am trying to think of myself as a little girl and remembering to nurture myself the way I would nurture my child. So there are some things I am really good at. I am good at telling myself that I love myself and how amazing I am. I am good at remembering that I am never alone and I am surrounded by your love, your strength and the supporters you have bought into my life to bring me through the times when I feel like I am struggling. Read More
Thank you for waking me up this morning. My friends were kind of surprised to see me up and moving so early this morning. I try to get up by 8 am every morning so I have a routine and stick to it, but sometimes I give myself a sleep in morning as a way of nurturing my body, mind, and soul. I take this as quiet time to just rest, cuddle with my wife, and allow you to speak to me in my dreams.
There is something about cuddling that is so nurturing for me. When I was younger I used to cuddle with my stuffed animals or with my dog Puggy. As I grew up I found that I enjoyed cuddling with my partner of the time. There is nothing like cuddling and being held. Read More
So here we are at the end of August and it is amazing to me how much I have thought about meaning lately. It is interesting how I have been thinking about why I have been led to sources of wisdom and revelation at certain times. For example, I was looking for a book a few months ago and was drawn to a book by Mark Nepo, which I thought would be awesome for our book club, called Inside the Miracle. It is a gathering of his writings which draw on his experience and transformation because of his battle with cancer. Most of the people in our book club have had cancer and so I thought this was a book that would really speak to them.
Little did I know that I was drawn to this book for another reason. One of my dearest friends was diagnosed with brain cancer. Reading this book while journeying with her helped me to enter into the miracle that was to happen in her life. It gave me new understandings of my own health challenges and the journey to wholeness which was coming as a result of this opportunity. Read More
Honestly, sometimes it is so easy to see the meaning in what is happening, but sometimes life seems so busy it is hard to hear you speaking. So right now I am working on slowing down and being intentional about having the time to listen.
What I have learned is that taking the time to listen is like taking a pilgrimage to the Holy Land where I have to enter life and lean in and listen.
This past week I have been reminded that life is unpredictable. By listening to you and your guidance I have found what I needed to lift me up and been able to find new ways of thinking about things. Even what initially felt like the worst of situations became transformative and life giving because you challenged me to enter into the situation, sit with you, and grow. Read More
So most of last week I was thinking about listening and what I wanted to talk to you about in terms of listening and to be honest I was not sure what I wanted to write about. I had been working on more actively listening to others, listening to my body, listening to the sounds around me and was feeling pretty good about how well I was listening to the Universe. Then it hit me, you were listening to me. So I want to thank you for listening to my prayers and the meditations of my heart.
I always tell you talk to me like I am five. Make it plain. Make it simple. Make it clear. I need answers that are so visible that it is unmistakable. So here I am praying about whether I should be thinking and working on repromoting to Director status with Pampered Chef. I wanted to make sure this was what I was supposed to do and not just what I would like to do because of the benefits. Read More
So many people in my life have inspired me with their ability to be kind. Tristine Rainer was write when he said that writing about these people help me to internalize and possess the very qualities that intrigued me the most. I have been doing this for a while and realized as I sat down today that I have internalized some of the qualities of someone who showed me intense kindness when I was in graduate school.
Her name is Dr Diane M Samdahl and she is one of those people who has left her name inscribed on my heart. She taught me so much about life, not just recreation and leisure studies. When I look back on my relationship and journey with her, there is one moment in particular that I will remember forever. Read More
Being kind is such an important practice to me. I have experienced so many random acts of kindness in my life and am mindful of how it made me feel. I am also mindful of how I feel when I am able to perform acts of kindness with others. So many people in my life have inspired me with their ability to be kind. It is not that I was jealous of their ability to practice kindness. Rather, they inspired me to possess and develop those same qualities within myself. One of the things I have learned to do is write about those people who intrigue me. As Tristine Rainer suggests, in The New Diary, in doing so I begin to internalize and possess those very qualities.
There have been so many amazingly kind people in my life. The one who taught me the most about kindness is the one who opened her heart and soul to me, my mother. Read More
The universe has a sense of humor. I had been thinking about kindness and praying for inspiration about what to write about. I am pretty good at practicing kindness and look for opportunities each day to be kind to others. I so often have focused on how I feel when I am doing something for others. I had not taken time to think about how I feel when someone does something kind for me. Yesterday, however, a friend of mine surprised me with an act of kindness that touched my heart.
It was one of those totally unexpected kind of things. My friend Venetia Carey is a Pink Zebra consultant. We met last December at a vending event we did together. Read More
Over the last week, I have been listening to what others say as a way of avoiding responsibility for the injustice and inhumanity in the world. One thing I have heard people do is to call it something else. Rather than name the injustice behind what is happening in a situation, people will search for alternate explanations as to why a situation exists. I have heard people argue it is actually better this way or that the oppressed group actually prefers it this way. I have heard people mask their inhumanity behind humor or claims of innocence, saying I didn’t mean it. There is this belief that by saying that, that it wipes away the injustice and inhumanity of what is said or done. I have heard other say that the reason bad things happen to people is that they are just bad people. Whether intentional or not, each of these patterns and ways of thinking contributes to the inhumanity and injustice in the world. Read More
Since I started this personal reflection justice, why we engage and why we don’t, I have come to realize there are no easy answers. One of the things I have come to realize is that in some respects we do not even realize that we are being inhumane. Several years ago, I was at a meeting and overheard two philosophers talking about slavery. One philosopher said that the perfect form of slavery was when one enjoyed being a slave. The other philosopher disagreed and said that the perfect form of slavery was when you no longer realized that you were even enslaved. The ironic part is that when we think of the word slavery we do not think of ourselves, but in some respect, each of us is enslaved in a system that trains us to be inhumane, conditions us throughout our lives to contribute to the inhumanity of others. Whether one is part of a dominant or subordinate group in our culture, the enslavement exists and often times we are not even aware of our role in the system or of the system itself. Read More